Want to start the keto diet but not quite sure how to get the best start to your day?
Well, the good news is that you have come to the right place for the skinny on the keto diet, including the best keto meals for breakfast!
What is ketogenic food?
The keto or ketogenic diet has become very popular over the past few years and it is little wonder why.
Keto diet foods are basically those with little or no carbohydrates.
The idea of the diet is to prompt your body to enter the state of ketosis. This is something it does naturally when it is starved of carbohydrates. It means that instead of burning carbs, the body starts using up fat reserves. This can lead to rapid weight loss while consuming foods that taste great.
You might like to read more about ketosis on our Health Hub: What is ketosis?
Once you have built up basic supplies and have a stash of meal plans, it is surprisingly easy to stick to the keto diet, as you are allowed to eat foods normally forbidden on other diets, such as cheese, cream, and fatty cuts of meat.
How to start the keto diet
When you start the keto diet, you will want to limit your carb intake to around 20g per day.
When you consider that one portion of pasta (100g) contains around 25g of carbs, it is easy to see that Western diets contain a lot of carbohydrates.
Especially once you realise that sugary (including “healthy” sugars in fruit and vegetables), starchy and fibrous food all contain carbs.
Many keto gurus suggest taking a supplement to give your body some of the nutrients that we mostly get from carbohydrate-rich foods. You can find further information in our article ‘The best keto supplements – revealed’.
Keto diet recipes
You can find a keto diet food list for vegetarians and keto diet meals for vegans on our Health Hub article, How vegans and vegetarians can do the keto diet.
We also have keto meal plans for meat and fish eaters too. Check out ‘What is the keto diet?’
The best keto breakfasts
Starting the day right is easy on the keto diet, as breakfast is all about filling you up in a much more satisfying way than just cereal or toast would. This is because keto meals are protein-rich.
Staple breakfast ingredients you might want to stock up on include:
- Meat or vegetarian/vegan alternative, such as veggie sausages, tofu or seitan
- Eggs (or tofu/vegan alternative)
- Full-fat Greek yoghurt and full-fat (double) cream (or non-dairy alternatives)
- Full-fat milk or milk alternative (see 7 of the best vegan milk alternatives)
- Low carb bread (there are lots of recipes that usually contain a mixture of almond flour, vital wheat gluten, soy/whey protein isolate powder, flax seed, psyllium husk or wheat bran 1,2
- Nuts – not all nuts are equal! For example, Brazil nuts contain 4g of carbs per 100g, while cashews have a whopping 22g!3
- Seeds/toppings: sesame seeds, flax seeds (linseeds), desiccated coconut
- Sugar-free peanut butter (or other nut butter)
- Tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms are some of the best breakfast veggies and all happen to be low carb.
- Protein powder – having a low carb protein powder to hand means you can grab an easy smoothie or shake if you lead an on-the-go lifestyle
- Berries – berries are pretty much the only fruit you can eat on the keto diet, but only after the first couple of weeks, when you want your body to go into ketosis
- Low carb sweetener
- Lots of herbs, spices and low-carb condiments
- Butter and extra-virgin olive oil
Five Keto recipes for breakfast
1. Three eggs your way
Whether you fry them in olive oil or butter, scramble them with a dash of cream and knob of butter, boil ‘em, poach ‘em, or make a cheesy omelette (or frittata), there is no denying that eggs fill you up, are super-quick, super-satisfying and a perfect keto breakfast!
2. Scrambled tofu
Fry firm tofu in olive oil with turmeric, cream, salt and pepper and soy milk (if needed to loosen).
This is a pretty great scrambled-egg alternative! Serve with a low-carb vegetarian sausage and 1/2 a tomato; on a big mushroom; or on low-carb toast.
3. Greek yoghurt
Top with flax seeds (aka linseeds), chopped almonds and zero-carb sweetener to taste.
4. Whey or soy protein shake
We love this recipe from our Health Hub article, DIY protein shakes. It contains less than 4g of carbs plus a massive 27g protein:
- 1 scoop protein powder (vanilla or banana)
- 50g frozen or fresh spinach
- A handful of ice (if using fresh spinach)
- 40g frozen berries
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Water or milk (depending on your chosen consistency)
Simply whizz the ingredients together in a mixer and enjoy.
5. Low-carb granola
Why not make your own low-carb granola? We even sell all the ingredients, making it super-easy!
Simply combine nuts (we recommend almonds, hazelnuts and pecans); pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds; a zero-carb sweetener (erythritol bakes well); ground flax seed (aka linseeds); a binding substance such as egg white or a vegan alternative; melted butter (or coconut oil); vanilla extract.4
Last Updated: 2nd February 2021
Author: Bhupesh Panchal, Regulatory Affairs
Bhupesh started his career as a clinical toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products. After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.
In his spare time, Bhupesh likes to cycle and has been learning to speak Korean for several years.